By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Mitsubishi Digital Electronics unveiled its 2009 premium TV lines of flat-panel LCD TVs and DLP rear-projection HDTV sets.
In LCD TV, the company unveiled the new Unisen sub-brand, which will be used across three model series. The new trademark denotes Mitsubishi’s advanced on-board audio technology utilizing a built-in 16-speaker, 5.1-channel surround system.
The company also underscored its continued commitment to DLP rear-projection TVs as the last major brand representing the technology. The company will offer both a new Home Theater DLP lineup and will continue with its previously announced flagship LaserVue laser-light-based DLP set that was delayed due to a production glitch from the original rollout late last year.
The three new Unisen model series feature the 40-inch to 52-inch screen sizes and are billed as “immersive sound televisions.”
Mitsubishi said the models are “the first premium flat-panel TVs with a 16-speaker Dolby Digital 5.1-channel surround-sound system designed right into the television.”
“Unisen was built upon the principle of uniting world-class video imagery with fully integrated immersive sound technology to streamline and efficiently enhance the consumer’s home theater entertainment experience,” stated Frank DeMartin, Mitsubishi marketing VP. “Coming off the heels of our 2008 introduction of the world’s first Laser TV, LaserVue, our 2009 line of Unisen TVs are yet another prime example of Mitsubishi’s ongoing dedication to consistently deliver the most innovative television products to the market.”
Through the use of an advanced algorithm, the sound technology delays the sound beams and projects them independently from the 16 speakers at varying intervals.
Mitsubishi is using the technology to target consumers who don’t have the space for full-blown surround-sound speaker systems.
Mitsubishi said the TVs were designed for easy installation and setup. Users can enter specific room dimensions into an onscreen graphical interface, or simply utilize the calibration microphone to calculate and set the sound beams for optimal sound within the specific room environment.
The user can also adjust the direction, location and sound levels for each of the five surround channels. The output level for the subwoofer is also directly controllable from the remote control.
Each Unisen model features a frame measuring under an inch thin, 1080p HD resolution, advanced color, and 120Hz processing for smooth motion viewing of fast- and slow-moving programs.
All Unisen models will ship in May and include the Unisen 249 Diamond series, in the 46-inch ($2,799 suggested retail) and 52-inch ($3,299) screen sizes; the Unisen 153 Series in the 40-inch ($1,999), 46-inch ($2,399) and 52-inch ($2,899) screen sizes; and the Unisen 151 Series in the 40-inch ($1,799) 46-inch ($2,199) and 52-inch ($2,599) screen sizes.
Mitsubishi also introduced two series of Home Theater DLP rear-projection TVs in the 60-, 65-, 73- and 82-inch screen sizes. All feature 1080p HD resolution, are UHP lamp-based and conform to Energy Star 3.0 guidelines.
“Based on current economic conditions, consumers are looking for products that marry high quality with significant value, and TVs are no exception,” said DeMartin. “We view Home Theater television [DLP] as a growth category, and our new 2009 lineup provides larger screen sizes, new technology enhancements and notable efficiency in operating power consumption, which is becoming a prominent factor that consumers now consider when making a TV purchase.”
Like the previously launched LaserVue sets, all are also said to be 3-D-ready, but will require source devices to support checkerboard display formats for display of 3-D gaming or 3-D cinema content.
The Home Theater model line is “eco-friendly,” consuming approximately one-half the operating power of similarly sized flat-panel TVs. Like all of Mitsubishi’s 2009 sets, the Home Theater series is compliant with EnergyStar 3.0 guidelines.
The 737 Series will include the new 82-inch ($4,199), 73-inch ($2,499), 65-inch ($1,799) and 60-inch screen sizes.
The models will include Smooth 120Hz smooth-motion processing, a new Advanced Video Calibration mode, JADE activity based user interface, improved DeepField Imager, SharpEdge video noise reduction, ultra-thin frames and Mitsubishi’s 6-Color Processor that is said to provide significantly more color reproduction than typical flat-panel TVs.
The step-up 837 series features three models in the 65-inch ($2,199), 73-inch ($2,999) and 82-inch ($4,999) screen sizes. All add Mitsubishi’s PerfectTint system, four HDMI 1.3a inputs, Dark Detailer circuitry that brings greater clarity to dark areas of the screen, NetCommand home-networking system, USB media input, ISFccc certification and an RS-232C control interface.
The flagship LaserVue TV line is now in production and rolling out to select Mitsubishi specialty dealers capable of demonstrating and selling the technology to discerning consumers.
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